What if we took a softer approach—towards ourselves and others? What would that look like? What might happen as a result?
We rarely pause long enough to consider what a softer approach really means. All too often we associate softness with weakness, when in fact, softness is a strength because it creates space for something new to come forth.
For example, if I believe that I cannot let my guard down in a political discussion, or a negotiation, or with people with whom I am not in sync, then I harden my defenses and am ready to protect myself and my core beliefs. It creates an either/or dynamic that is linear. “Either we go your way or my way, or maybe we’ll compromise somewhere in the middle.”
A softer approach, on the other hand, creates a broader space of possibility. It’s not about giving up my boundaries or giving in to the other; it is quite the opposite. It is about gently stating where my boundaries are while also making space for the other. When I soften my approach, I create space for the other to say: “I hear you, and...” instead of “I hear you, but…”
I write this post after spending four days at a meditation retreat in upstate New York, led by Neil and Melanie Kirkbride of The Soft Road. They shared their warmth and knowledge with us about what it really means to be softer with ourselves and others. Their assistants—Cindy Wu and Caroline Aulis, also Vedic meditation teachers—guided us through deeply restorative meditations.
I offer all of them much gratitude for what they taught me and for inspiring this post. I have written more about the retreat in my June newsletter. Subscribe here to read the full newsletter.
Copyright © 2019 Sharon V. Kristjanson. All rights reserved.